Democratic Convention: Terry McAuliffe
Democratic National Committee Chairman
Thursday, July 29, 2004; 5:00 PM
The 2004 Democratic National Convention will come to a close Thursday night, as Sen. John F. Kerry officially accepts the presidential nomination.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe briefly discussed the convention and the 2004 election Thursday, July 29, at 5 p.m. ET.
The transcript follows.
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Mr. McAuliffe, will you please provide us a clarifying explanation of Kerry's military voting record in the Senate? For example, what attributes of the bill, do you think, compelled him to vote against the $87 billion for Iraq?
Terry McAuliffe: I think Kerry voted against the bill because what he didn't want is for the money to go to Halliburton. There were no guarantees that this money would be spent wisely for our troops.
How much of an issue will the prospect of the reinstatement of the draft be on college campuses?
Terry McAuliffe: I think it is an issue that young people should consider. Right now if we have another major conflict in another theater we don't have the troops to commit to that, and it is something that the young people in this nation should consider as a possibility. And this information I get from generals.
If John Kerry loses the election in November, will that spell the end of the McAuliffe years/philosophy at the DNC/DLC/DWhatever?
I am not advocating that outcome, but I want to know where you stand on the personal responsibility issue where your own conduct/actions is concerned.
There's no point talking about someone else's lack of character if we're not willing to put our own up for the highest scrutiny... especially when we fall short.
Terry McAuliffe: My term expires Jan 21, 2005. I will happily have served for 4 years and will leave a legacy behind of a 21st century party with a brand new state of the art national headquarters, a new 175 million name data file, an organization that is debt free for the first time in decades, a 10 million name e mail list -- up from 70,000 when I became chairman and five times as many small donors as when I started.
Thank you for allowing us to speak with you on this chat. How much of a bounce can Kerry realistically expect from this convention?
Terry McAuliffe: This is a unique convention for us in that the Democrats are going into the convention in the lead. Traditionally we have gone into them with incumbent presidents with a huge deficit. So don't expect too much of a bounce. However expect an understanding of John Kerry on those issues that matter to voters that will strengthen our position in the general election.
The pundits say that the Democrats' plan is to minimize the criticism of President Bush in order not to alienate "swing" voters, or "middle America". If that's the case, I believe it underestimates the anger Americans feel about Bush's decision to sacrifice American lives in a war that was unnecessary and based on patently false pretenses, which is the worst decision a president can make. Why isn't this the center of the Democrats' platform? Aren't the Democrats wasting an opportunity to state the most compelling case to unseat this president?
Terry McAuliffe: Our platform spent 50 percent on the issues of national security, which is up from the traditional 20 percent. Everyone knows that Bush mislead America and the world, and now they are looking to John Kerry to tell us how he will fix it.
Do you plan to have a "truth squad" at the Republican National Convention? Do you plan to highlight the "extreme makeover" of President Bush as competent and centrist?
Terry McAuliffe: Yes, we will be there in full force.
Terry McAuliffe: This is the greatest convention this party has every had. We are more energized and unified then ever. Thank you.
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